Viacyte Treatment for Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects more than 1 million people in the United States. In these patients, the immune system attacks and kills the beta cells in the pancreas which produce the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar. Without these cells, patients must inject doses of insulin to control their blood sugar and carefully monitor what they eat. 

Go With Your Gut

The interaction between the various organs and cell types the liver and colon the focus of research in both health and disease. Recently, two labs from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have developed tools that will greatly benefit the study of these important organs.

Growing Blood

For years the production of blood from stem cells has been an invention “just around the corner” without becoming a reality. Two recent Nature publications in the past month give new hope that the shortage of blood will come to an end.

A Foray Into Science

In a 700-acre enclosure within Ol Pejeta Conservancy Park, roam three northern white rhinoceroses – Sadu, Najin and Fatu. Due to heavy poaching and loss of habitat, these three white rhinos are the last of their kind. Conservation efforts have restored the numbers of their cousin, the southern white rhinos, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for them.

Stem Cells on my Mind

The brain is incredibly plastic and is capable of forming new connections between existing neurons, but they don’t proliferate which makes them difficult to study in the lab. Much research has been done using mouse cells, but for a long time there wasn’t a good way to study human microglial cells. Recent research has focused on reprogramming already differentiated skin cells (“fibroblasts”) into a variety of neural cell types. 

Techstars Wrap-up: A Letter from Alex

12 weeks ago, we started the Techstars Seattle program. Last Wednesday, it culminated in our Demo Night, where we took the stage with one of our early customers and shared our vision of personalized medicine with the world. The program was a rigorous and intense 12 weeks – and the final month was as stressful as prepping for my PhD dissertation, but in the end I’m proud of all that we accomplished in the program. To those of you wondering what our experience was like, read on.

CRISPR: A Primer

An important discovery was made just 11 years ago – adult differentiated cells could be reverted or “reprogrammed” into pluripotent stem cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells or “iPSCs” are currently being studied in the lab. In order to be able to fully understand these cells and use them to study and treat disease, we need to be able to make specific changes to their genetic code.